The Takeover is an interesting album. It is not just your everyday rap/rock album. Avery Watts brings his own unique style to the genre. Watts acts like a high-energy motivational speaker on this album. In a genre filled with angst and profane lyrics, he takes a dramatically different approach here. The Takeover is filled with songs that speak of overcoming obstacles and doing what it takes to make it to the top. This album is almost a theme for what Watts has accomplished in the music industry.
He is a self made man who knows exactly what he wants to do. This type of attitude has kept him from falling victim to music labels. He has managed to stay independent and keep control of his music and produce what he wants to. This resulted in an intense rock fueled debut LP. Although it may sound like a good thing to have complete control, Watts could have benefitted from having a few extra hands in the production booth to polish off this release. As much as I like having an album like this keep the guitars at the forefront, it feels like Watts forgot about the overall sound. This is a small flaw in the album but one that could be addressed in future releases. Maybe he didn’t have time to worry about that minor detail since he basically played and recorded all the music himself for this release. You have to give the man credit for this. You cannot deny that he has worked his ass off to get to this level.
The Takeover will appeal to fans of bands like Skillet, Thousand Foot Krutch, Papa Roach and POD etc. Although this album has some high-energy tracks with nice hooks and catchy lyrics, the sound seems a little dated. The actual hidden gem on this album comes from the song “Criminal.” It strays from the rap/rock formula and goes an entirely pop/rock route. This song is simply infectious and will have you replaying it over and over again.
Fans of Avery Watts will love what this album offers but those who may have just stumbled on it might feel that it is lacking in some elements. Generally it will leave you with a good feeling inside after listening to it and no matter what kind of music you listen to you will find something you like here. Standout tracks are “A Cut Above”, “The Core”, “Who I Am”, “Criminal” and “Survive”.